The Hunger games has reached an unbelievable 4 straight weeks at the number 1 spot, so I thought I’d finally review it… notice my word unbelievable? I say so because I didn’t predict this happening. I saw it a couple of weeks ago however, upon leaving the cinema I had no strong feelings for it. Didn’t love it, didn’t hate it, didn’t think it was anything particularly special or memorable for good or bad reasons.
I saw the film having no idea what it was about (simply followed my boyfriend’s choice) so I feel I was perhaps immune to the hype surrounding it…? It’s pure and simple why the film is at number 1. Great work from the buzz team beforehand.
The basic story:
The entirety of North America has become a totalitarian state, traumatised by chronic food shortages; these once inspired a people’s uprising in outlying regions, which was brutally suppressed but the relevant communities “forgiven” on condition that they annually supply 24 young people by lottery to compete in a televised survival contest in a fenced-off woodland arena, provided with weapons and food, fighting with the elements and each other until only one remains alive.
In this way, the authorities hope to siphon off the people’s tendency to violence and resentment. At first terrified, the chosen contestants are soothed by the pre-contest period: they had been living in dirt-poor rural areas that have regressed to a parody of 19th-century pioneer austerity, like something out of Laura Ingalls Wilder. But the chosen teenagers are brought to a gleaming futurist metropolis beyond their dreams, where people dress with absurdly obvious decadence and foppery. Lavished with food, luxury, top-notch athletic training and the intoxicating thrill of celebrity, they begin to glow: sacrificial lambs who think they’re rock stars.
Source: The Guardian, http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2012/mar/22/the-hunger-games-review
As someone who finds it difficult to find a genuinely enjoyable satire, I must say I did enjoy this film for it’s take on the cruelty of reality TV, the manipulation of audiences and fantasy style, but it is notably innocent despite the violence, which left me feeling dissatisfied. The whimsical colours and circus style is fun, although a better way of conveying these themes was possible. A cunningly (NOT) styled Seneca Crane resembling the devil is obvious, and a God like character who controls all link to religion, and I am reminded why satire can be so poorly made sometimes. I mean, there’s obvious and there’s obvious.
Jennifer Lawrence has been almost universally acclaimed for her role of Katniss, the protagonist of The Hunger Games, and the industry indicates her talents have added a lot of value to the main character of the story. This has contributed to the film building with audiences who are dying to see strong, willful females on screen and has really shown Hollywood what can happen if you get female action stars right—and with Jennifer Lawrence I think they got even more than they expected. This is a strong female performance, and has even been compared to the iconic Sigourney Weaver in Alien. This has got to be one of the biggest reasons for the success.
The Hunger Games is a thrilling action/adventure story that is kept true to the successful book trilogy written by Suzanne Collins, and this is evident so all in all, there are good and bad points. Just do us a favour; don’t just follow the hype. Know your own mind.
Just remember, The Hunger Games is no Battle Royale.